T-Birds Outlast Phantoms in See-Saw Shootout Battle
ALLENTOWN, Pa. - The Springfield Thunderbirds (3-4-0-0) survived a third-period charge from the Lehigh Valley Phantoms (2-1-1-1) and eventually came away as 4-3 shootout winners on Saturday night inside the PPL Center.
The Thunderbirds picked up where they left off in their 36-shot effort an evening ago by unleashing 10 first period shots at veteran netminder J-F Berube, but the goalie made every stop.
At the other end, Philippe Desrosiers was strong in the opening period of his second start of the season, turning away all seven shots, including a stellar glove save off a giveaway to rookie Morgan Frost.
The energetic first period was spotlighted by a heavy collision involving Kurtis Gabriel, who delivered a high shoulder check onto Paul Thompson. The T-Birds earned a power play from the vicious hit, and Tommy Cross immediately jumped to Thompson's aid in a scrap with Gabriel.
The fireworks would not conclude there, as Brady Keeper and Andy Andreoff squared off to pick up matching fighting majors. Lehigh Valley earned a power play out of the scrum, but like Springfield, the Phantoms' power play could not connect in the opening period.
The offensive exploits finally got going in the middle period, and Springfield got the first goal of the night to snap a lengthy goal drought when Cross laced a slap shot past Berube at 5:20 from Ethan Prow and Thompson.
After the T-Birds killed a third Lehigh Valley power play, the Phantoms tied the score shortly after when German Rubtsov scooped a bouncing rebound over the stick of Desrosiers at 14:26.
The 1-1 tie would not last even one minute, as the Thunderbirds got right back on the offensive on the next shift as Daniel Audette parked himself in the blue paint and deflected a centering feed from Riley Stillman off his foot into the yawning net to make it 2-1 just 54 seconds after the Rubtsov equalizer.
Out of a media timeout, the Thunderbirds kept their foot on the throttle as Blaine Byron sprung Anthony Greco on a breakaway connection, and with only the goalie to beat, Greco chipped it over Berube's stick side to bring the lead to 3-1 at 15:56.
After Springfield killed an early Phantoms power play in the third, the Phantoms continued generating pressure at even strength, and eventually it paid off when Nic Aube-Kubel squeaked a right-circle shot through Desrosiers at 8:03. Less than five minutes later, Morgan Frost scooped up his first AHL goal on a net-mouth scramble to tie the score and eventually force an extra period.
The Springfield penalty kill went 6-for-6, with no effort more vital than a 4-on-3 penalty kill in overtime following a bench minor for too many men on the ice. Desrosiers and the T-Bird escaped that danger and the game needed a seven-round shootout to decide a winner.
After Frost and Audette scored on back-to-back attempts, Desrosiers and Berube traded saves all the way into the seventh round. In the longest shootout in T-Birds history, Kevin Roy finally sent the visitors home happy as he slid a forehand shot through the five-hole to give Springfield its first shootout win since January of 2018.
Desrosiers finished his night with 38 saves on top of his shootout heroics to pick up his first win as a Thunderbirds goaltender, while Berube stopped 22 of 25 to fall to 0-1-2 as a Phantom.
From here, the Thunderbirds embark on another three-game weekend on Oct. 25-27 with a visit to Bridgeport on Friday (7:00 p.m.) before home tilts with Belleville on Saturday (7:05 p.m.) and Rochester on Sunday (5:05 p.m.).
For more ticket information or to become a 2019-20 Springfield Thunderbirds ticket package member, or to purchase single game tickets, call (413) 739-GOAL (4625) or visit www.SpringfieldThunderbirds.com.
• Discuss this story on the American Hockey League message board...
American Hockey League Stories from October 19, 2019
- Rocket's Three-Game Win Strea K Snapped by Hard-Fought 4-2 Loss to the Hershey Bears - Laval Rocket
- Post Game Notes: Stars vs. Griffins - Texas Stars
- Wolves Fall in Overtime - Chicago Wolves
- Checkers Blow Past Crunch, 7-3 - Syracuse Crunch
- Phantoms Fight Back to Earn Point in Fourth Straight Game - Lehigh Valley Phantoms
- Admirals Fall to Eagles in OT - Milwaukee Admirals
- P-Bruins Score Seven Goals, Defeat Belleville 7-4 - Providence Bruins
- Amerks Fall to Comets - Rochester Americans
- Anas Makes History in 4-2 Win for Iowa - Iowa Wild
- DiGiuseppe Brings Quick End to OT, Completes Wolf Pack Rally - Hartford Wolf Pack
- Comets Dominate Americans for Fifth-Straight Win - Utica Comets
- Penguins Beat Bridgeport in Shootout, 3-2 - Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins
- Relentless Bears Edge Rocket, 4-2 - Hershey Bears
- Penguins Outlast Sound Tigers in Shootout - Bridgeport Sound Tigers
- Blue Jackets Assign Forward Markus Hannikainen to Monsters - Cleveland Monsters
- Gibbons, Priskie Notch Four Points Each in 7-3 Blowout Win - Charlotte Checkers
- O'Connor Lifts Colorado to OT Win in Penalty-Filled Contest - Colorado Eagles
- Sens Stumble at Home to Providence - Belleville Senators
- T-Birds Outlast Phantoms in See-Saw Shootout Battle - Springfield Thunderbirds
- Wolf Pack Rallies past Devils in OT - Binghamton Devils
- Grundstrom Leads Reign to Matinee Victory - Ontario Reign
- Barracuda Give up Three in the First, Fall 5-2 to Reign - San Jose Barracuda
- Monsters Fall Short in 2-0 Loss to Marlies - Cleveland Monsters
- Islanders Recall Bardreau - Bridgeport Sound Tigers
- Game 5 Preview: San Antonio at Tucson - Tucson Roadrunners
- Marlies Host Monsters in Doubleheader Weekend - Toronto Marlies
- Coyotes Recall Ness from Tucson - Tucson Roadrunners
- Barracuda Recall Goaltender Zachary Sawchenko from Orlando Solar Bears - San Jose Barracuda
- Heat Take on Condors in Saturday Showdown - Stockton Heat
- Condors Host Country and Western Night Tonight at 7 p.m. - Bakersfield Condors
- Trenin, Salomaki Recalled, Carr Assigned to Ads - Milwaukee Admirals
- Minnesota Wild Recalls Forward Gabriel Dumont from Iowa - Iowa Wild
- Rochester Americans Game Preview: Saturday, October 19 at Utica Comets - Rochester Americans
- Game Day Build-Up: Senators vs. Bruins, October 19 - Belleville Senators
- Murray Hits 50 Point Plateau But Strives for Much More - Belleville Senators
- Sound Tigers Face Penguins to Begin Home Slate Tonight - Bridgeport Sound Tigers
- Defenseman Martin Fehervary Returns to Bears - Hershey Bears
- Game Preview: Bears at Rocket, 7 PM - Hershey Bears
- Rampage Battle for Point in OT Loss to Roadrunners - San Antonio Rampage
- Roadrunners Recall Jalen Smereck from Rapid City - Tucson Roadrunners
- Red-Hot Wild Deal Moose a Loss - Manitoba Moose
- Stockton Spoils Gulls' Home Opener - San Diego Gulls
- Heat Earn Blowout Win at San Diego - Stockton Heat
The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.
Other Recent Springfield Thunderbirds Stories
- Thunderbirds Honored by Nonprofit "I Found Light against All Odds" at Annual Gala
- T-Birds Partner with White Lion Brewing to Promote "Blast from the Past Night" with Retro Can Design
- Florida Panthers Assign F Jayce Hawryluk to T-Birds on Conditioning Loan
- Florida Panthers Loan F Aleksi Saarela to Thunderbirds
- 4,887 Bears Hit the Ice for T-Birds' 4th Annual Teddy Bear Toss